Asked if the Government believed it could come away with an agreement on the EU budget by the end of the week, the PMOS said that the end of the week wasn’t a deadline. The deadline was the summit on the Dec 15th. Without getting into the detail of the negotiations, he would say what the accession countries had been saying was that what was really important for them was that they could get at the money quickly. A deal now would allow them to do that. The other factor people had to bear in mind was that we had to deal with the reality that an awful lot of money would, quite rightly, be going the way of the accession countries if this deal was done. But it only went if and when the deal was done. Asked if they could hold out given that they were already having trouble spending the money they had, the PMOS said that what they had been saying to us was that they needed easy access to the money as quickly as possible. We should try and help them with that.
Briefing took place at 16:00 | Search for related news
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